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Busted at Bolos: Dunlap Street bar cracks down on underage drinking

December 2, 2022

Alex Spear
ON THE ROCKS: Following two reported incidents of underage drinking at Bolos Kitchen and Bar, the Brunswick establishment will now require Bowdoin students to present their OneCards alongside their photo IDs.

In addition to checking their pockets for keys, wallets and phones, students hoping to spend a night at Bolos Kitchen and Bar will now have to carry something else—their College-issued OneCards. In an effort to “safeguard their liquor license and reduce their civil liability,” the Dunlap Street bar is now requiring Bowdoin students to produce two forms of identification (ID) upon entry: their student and government-issued photo IDs.

The policy change came into effect last Saturday and was due in-part to an incident on Thanksgiving in which two underage Bowdoin students brandishing fraudulent IDs were cited by the Brunswick Police Department (BPD).

“I want to make sure that I’m doing my part to make sure that people are safe,” bar owner Mike Jerome said. “We love having Bowdoin kids here. My biggest concern is if someone gets in trouble, not with the police, but with the school.”

Bowdoin students are not the only ones affected by this rule, however. According to Jerome, all patrons who appear to be under the age of 30 will have to present two forms of ID at the door.

Jerome hopes that this change will create a more adult atmosphere at Bolos that will appeal to Bowdoin’s upperclassmen.

“I think that upperclassmen who want to go out and enjoy their evening with their peers don’t necessarily want to run into freshmen with fake IDs. The atmosphere at Bolos would become kind of more of a mature crowd—not that it wasn’t mature before,” Jerome said.

This is not the first time that the former Tex-Mex candlepin bowling bar has implemented double-identification measures. According to Jerome, the bar began the practice three years ago, but this rule fell into disuse earlier this year before being revived last weekend.

With the new rule, potential underage student lawbreakers may become the target of BPD efforts. According to an email from Executive Director of the Office of Safety and Security Randy Nichols, BPD may begin monitoring alcohol sales more closely to prevent the use of falsified IDs.

“You should expect that BPD will be more closely monitoring establishments in town that sell or serve liquor with an eye toward increasing compliance,” Nichols wrote.

In addition to Bolos, Jerome plans on implementing the same rule at brunch-themed restaurant Flip, his other business.

“It’s a stark reminder that we need to be more careful,” he said. “My biggest worry is [that] somebody throws away and squanders this amazing opportunity because of a fake ID.”


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